please note: Tamaron (Methamidophos) is classified as "highly hazardous" by the World Health Organization

July 1, 2008, ABS-CBN

Firm says pesticide cargo in 'Princess' won't leak

Bayer said Tuesday there is no chance that hundreds of kilos of crop-protection products inside the ill-fated M/V Princess of the Stars will leak and pose immediate danger to human and marine life.

"The products were packed and sealed in waterproof aluminum pouches, co-ex bottles, PE liners and polypropylene outer bags and loaded in a 10-foot sealed container van," Bayer Cropscience Philippines, Inc. said in a statement.

The company issued the statement after Transportation Undersecretary Elena Bautista announced Monday that aside from the Del Monte Philippines, Inc. (DMPI) endusolfan shipment, the government discovered that Bayer products were also loaded in the sunken ship.

Bautista, however, clarified that the Bayer products are not highly toxic.

Reynaldo Cutanda, Bayer's corporation communications manager, said the products in the sunken ship are Antracol WP70, Tamaron 600SL, Trap 70WP, and Fuerza GR3. He said the products are all for "crop protection."

Cutanda said the mentioned products are not "technical material" unlike the endosulfan, which is a restricted chemical in the Philippines.

Bayer said the products weigh at least 500 kilograms, but "the active chemical ingredient in the cargo is estimated at 100 kilograms."

The company said it has offered the government its support to retrieve the products.

The company added that it has informed the Department of Agricultures' Fertilizer and Pesticides Authority about the Bayer cargo in the sunken ship.

Last week, the inter-agency task force headed by Bautista halted the retrieval of bodies from the sunken ship after discovering the DMPI's endosulfan shipment.

Bautista had said that so far, endosulfan contamination inside and around the ship was negative.

Bautista said divers had taken water samples on Monday by drilling holes into the cargo hold of the ship owned by Sulpicio Lines Inc.

"If it turns out negative from contamination, most likely the endosulfan inside the ship is still intact," she said.

She said the water samples will be brought to the Department of Health office in Manila on Tuesday for testing.

Experts from Subsea Services, a commercial diving company, started the inspection Monday morning. The company's Filipino diving supervisor, Ruben Jeciel, led the divers.

July 05, 2008, The Manila Times

Del Monte and Bayer to be summoned by probers

Board of Marine Inquiry to probe the two firms over non-declaration of pesticide shipment as ‘toxic and dangerous’

THE Board of Marine Inquiry on Friday said it will summon officials of Del Monte Philippines Inc. and Bayer Philippines in its investigation of the June 21 MV Princess of the Stars sea tragedy.
Board chairman, Rear Admiral Ramon Liwag, said officials of the two companies are to be summoned in light of the pronouncement of Sulpicio Lines Inc. that the two firms misdeclared the endosulfan cargoes in the ill-fated vessel.
Liwag said that Del Monte and Bayer officials will be afforded time to explain their side on their alleged failure of declaring the “true” nature of the pesticide cargo loaded on the capsized vessel.

No declaration shipment was toxic
Del Monte, the owner of the endosulfan used in their pineapple plantation, did not disclose in their bill of lading with Sulpicio Lines, owner of the capsized vessel, that the pesticide was “dangerous and toxic.”
This is contrary to the declaration of the Del Monte in its international shipment document, dated June 16, 2008, which came from Israel.
The international exporter or shipper of the endosulfan cargo was identified as Makhteshim Chemical Works Ltd. located at the Industrial Zone Beer Sheva 84100, Israel. The carrier was RCS Shipping Agencies.
Based on the records from the Bureau of Customs, Del Monte declared in the “Description of goods” with Makhteshim that the cargo consisted of 400 fibreboard box of 25 kilograms of organochlorine pesticide solid toxic, or endosulfan.
The words solid toxic was never mentioned in the shipment with Sulpicio Lines.
Bayer, on the other hand, failed to state that their shipment contains a potentially harmful substance. Instead, they declared “various goods” in their bill of lading.
Del Monte and Bayer officials are expected to appear on Saturday’s continuation of the board’s hearing at the Philippine Coast Guard office at 9 a.m. or on Sunday, if there will be any schedule.
The endosulfan shipment and Bayer products were among the cargoes loaded by Sulpicio Lines in the ill-fated vessel which capsized off Sibuyan Island in Romblon on June 21, at the height of Typhoon Frank. By Anthony Vargas, Reporter

June 27, 2008 | GMA News (Philippines)

Bayer´s Endosulfan: Greenpeace outraged over illegal cargo in capsized vessel

MANILA - Greenpeace on Friday night expressed outrage regarding the discovery of an illegal shipment of the super-toxic pesticide, Endosulfan, in the hold of the ill-fated MV Princess of Stars, which capsized with 865 passengers and crew on board during Typhoon Fengshen last week. The highly toxic cargo was destined for the pineapple farms of multinational corporation Del Monte.

Endosulfan, a neuro-toxic organochlorine insecticide, manufactured by Bayer Crop Science has been banned in the Philippines since 1994.

Endosulfan is highly toxic and persistent. Studies indicate that it endangers the health and wellbeing of children, farm workers, and those living proximate to affected areas. Poisoning symptoms include headaches, nausea, vomiting, seizures, and in extreme cases, unconsciousness and even death. It is a suspected endocrine disruptor, with low dose exposure while in the womb being linked to autism, male reproductive harm, and birth defects.

"It is outrageous that a shipment of a highly toxic substance was allowed on board a passenger vessel. We demand that Del Monte and the Fertilizer and Pesticide Authority be made fully accountable for this unfolding chemical disaster, the former for continuing the use of such highly toxic chemical and the latter for allowing multinational companies to use them despite the national prohibition and the scientific evidence of their toxicity," said Beau Baconguis, Greenpeace Campaign Manager.

"This pesticide has also been found to be highly toxic to birds, fish and other aquatic organisms. This is the reason why the Philippines has severe restrictions on the use of Endosulfan especially near or around bodies of water. The M/V Princess of the Stars disaster has now exposed that a multinational corporation like Del Monte is using tons of banned
pesticides on their pineapples meant for export. That it took a tragic disaster to expose another ongoing disaster is infuriating," she added.

Endosulfan is being considered for global elimination under the United Nations Convention on Persistent Organic Polllutants (Stockholm Convention) to which the Philippines is a signatory.